Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Uno Uni

I just got back from dinner at Tee-jay Thai lovingly nicknamed the "lucky" sushi restaurant by my parentals. Long ago when the family Kellar would go out to eat it would be a miserable experience filled with tones of quibbling and verbal abuse between me and my sister. The first restaurant where the food was so good, and the service so speedy that my sister and I had no time at all to start a fight was Tee-jay, hence the nickname. Moving on, I rushed straight home after dinner because I had to blog about my new sushi adventure. Uni is actually the reproductive organs of the sea urchin, in its most desirable form is a golden yellow color, firm texture, and mildly sweet. The uni shipped worldwide is harvested off the west coast and Japan is the leading consumer worldwide. Each sea urchin contains five very delicate, edible lobes and the harvesting process is tedious. What sparked me in my quest to try uni were Papa K's recent fisherman's tales from Panama, where he has been going every few months to enjoy sea urchin, tuna, tile fish, and wahoo straight from the sea(I'm SO jealous!).  

They presented the uni in a carved out cucumber cup.. not gunna lie, it looked fun. It was shiny.. dare I say it... glistening and the texture (from what I could tell with my eyes and my wooden chopstick probe) was something like a human tongue with little capsules all over the surface. After watching my dad inhale his and murmur, "Fresh, but not as fresh as I can get it..." in his usual unsatisfied tone, I attempted to fit the entire cucumber cup in my mouth... it wasn't happening, uni was flying all over the place, soy fell all over the table- it was a hot mess! I considered the cucumber a lost cause and went straight for the uni, touch of wasabi... hint of soy, and a silent prayer. A party in the mouth is not how I would describe this, unless your kind of party is an awkward uncomfortable one. I was told it would taste a little like seawater, it most definitely did, the texture on the tongue? Mucusy to say the least.. I want to try this fresh out of the sea still. I wasn't completely put off, but I think this is an acquired taste.

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